Manitoulin Transport’s terminal spared Fort McMurray inferno

ALBERTA—Manitoulin Transport’s terminal and garage in Fort McMurray escaped the wildfire that destroyed more than 20 percent of that Alberta city, but the Manitoulin based company’s transports have been busy delivering aid within that province.

“We have been very fortunate in that both our terminal and our garage in Fort McMurray have not been damaged,” said Maureen Dumond, executive assistant to Manitoulin Transport owner Doug Smith.

“We sent five trucks for the Red Cross from Edmonton to the evacuation centres south of Fort McMurray,” she confirmed. “We were not able to send trucks north of the city due to the fire.” Only a single highway serves the region, and that highway runs through the heart of the fire.

Ms. Dumond noted that the company is not sending any trucks from Ontario, or province other than Alberta.

“We found from our experience when Slave Lake had the fire and the flooding in Calgary that it was not the best use of resources,” she said. In those cases, the materials arriving from Ontario had proved to be in excess of the needs in the emergency. “We found out later that it went to the landfill.”

So in this event, the company has been transporting items within the province, but is encouraging its own employees to make cash donations to the Red Cross. “We have employees in Fort McMurray,” noted Ms. Dumond. “We have been getting a lot of calls from people wanting to help. At this time, the best way to help is to make a donation to the Red Cross. That is what we are advising our own employees—money is probably the best thing.” The Canadian government is matching any donation made to the Red Cross, on top of the federal disaster relief funding.